Jeff Cummins at 20 !
1969 My fascination for all things 'media' began as a schoolboy
entering an art competition, (one of 30,000 entrants) staged
TV show 'Magpie'. My caricature of soccer hero George Best
first prize and a trip to their London studios to receive
my prize live
on air. Heady stuff and instant celebrity back home in North
this whiff of glamour and the bright lights of London
fresh in my nostrils, I vowed to return and conquer! But
Art School. Inspired by the work of George
Underwood, George Hardie and design group, Hipgnosis I spent
next three years honing my skills and fuelling my passion
sleeve design and Guinness.
in London and joined a marketing company as junior graphic
designer and coffee maker extraordinaire. In my spare time
illustrate, (usually heroes of the time; the Beatles, Rick
/Yes, Bruce Lee etc...). I sent a copy of one Bruce Lee
the editor of 'Kung Fu Monthly' Felix Yen, alias publishing
entrepreneur Felix Dennis, (now Chairman of his self-made
the Dennis Group). Felix published the painting as the first
Bruce Lee posters offered exclusively to the readers of
KFM and he
paid me money! My first freelance gig!
(Some years later, Felix commissioned an illustration of
Adam Ant for the cover of a 'fanzine'. On the day of publication
received a call followed by a writ from the Adam Ant camp,
were not impressed with the fact that I 'based' the painting
a photograph taken by their official photographer. Felix
things over' and the matter was dropped. Only recently did
discover that the photographer in question was my mate
Allan Ballard! Oops!).
Marketing company was in trouble and I became unemployed.
This gave me the necessary impetuous to go it alone. My
blitz of London record companies and publishing houses began.
On one such raid I managed to get an interview with Brian
the offices of Paul McCartney. To my surprise and delight
commissioned the 'Thrillington' album sleeve there and then.
He then introduced me to Storm, Po and Pete at Hipgnosis,
would art direct and George Hardie who would design the
Hogs Heaven man!
'Continued to work with Hipgnosis, visualising and illustrating
such luminaries as Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Moody Blues
Gabriel. By the end of that first year Paul and Linda McCartney
commissioned the painting for 'Wings Over America' which
me into the international arena. Calls came in from all
world and life became very interesting indeed!
work is as diverse as the briefs I receive. I develop characters
for corporate identities, packaging, childrenswear, and
TV. Occasionally illustrate and paper engineer children's
books, (including the design and engineering of 'Sindy's'
carousal-doll's house for Hasbro)! I was invited and honoured
to paint a portrait of Linda McCartney for Linda McCartney
Foods. (I'm a veggie, have been for more than twenty years.
Don't forget; meat is murder folks!). Currently I am working
on concepts for children's television,
still designing CD covers and continue to crave the creative